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Roanoke Valley Greenway Coordinator Position Announcement

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Mill Mountain Trails

Mill Mountain Trails

The Mill Mountain trail network provides 10 miles of natural surface trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding within the 600-acre Mill Mountain Park. Trails are accessible from the Discovery Center and Mill Mountain Star on top of the mountain, from a parking lot on Riverland Road, and from several neighborhood streets. Fern Park Trail provides additional access from the neighborhood. The trails provide short loops for tourists and longer excursions for residents, all in a beautiful wooded park. Frequent users include neighborhood walkers, hikers, visitors to the overlook who also want a short walk, mountain bikers, and occasionally equestrians. Terrain is challenging, so it is particularly important for users to stay on the trails and respect adjacent private property.

Trees

Interactive Trail Map

Trail Facts & Figures

10mile
Trail
Distance
Varies
Elevation
Gain
medium
Amount
of Use
varied
Trail
Difficulty
Natural surface
Surface
Type
No
Wheelchair
Accessible
2
Total
Trailheads
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Trail Issue

The Mill Mountain Trails System

Mill Mountain Greenway

Mill Mountain Greenway is a 3.3 mile paved route connecting downtown to the Mill Mountain Star. The greenway officially begins at the Wells Fargo Tower, tying into Lick Run Greenway and providing continuous greenway connectivity across the valley. The route weaves through the market area using existing sidewalks and streets, then follows an off-road sidewalk […]

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
3.28 mile
Amount of Use:
light
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Paved

Big Sunny

Big Sunny Trail connects Mill Mountain Greenway  to the neighborhood at Robin Hood Road. Much of this trail is on an old roadbed, making it wider than most trails in the Park.

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.73 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Crystal Spring

Crystal Spring Trail is a wide, gravel access along a sewer line that connects Ivy Road to Woodcliff Road near Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
.61 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
easy
Surface Type:
Gravel

Fern Park Trail

Fern Park trail is a connection from Fern Park on Jefferson St SE to Yellow Mountain Road and the Chestnut Ridge Trail system managed by the National Park Service. This trail is multi-use singletrack on City property and open to hikers and equestrians on Park Service property.It provides neighborhood access to the Mill Mountain trail […]

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
.58 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Ridgeline Trail

Ridgeline Trail connects Mill Mountain Greenway and the Discovery Center to Understory and Riser trails, as well as to Yellow Mountain Road and the Chestnut Ridge Trail system. This trail skirts the lower edge of Mill Mountain Zoo and animals can often be seen in their cages. The lower section of the trail is on […]

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
1.26 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Riser Trail

Riser Trail provides a connection between Big Sunny and Ridgeline for trail users on the downtown side of the mountain. There is a short connection to Mill Mountain Spur Road at the monument.

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.31 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Sidewinder Trail

Sidewinder Trail was built to connect Mill Mountain Parkway to Wood Thrush trail.  

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.53 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Star Trail

The Star Trail is the most popular hiking trail on Mill Mountain, in spite of its challenging grades. It starts at the water tower near Riverland Road Trailhead and climbs the mountain to the Star. This trail is Hiker Only, no bikes or horses.

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
1.38 mile
Amount of Use:
heavy
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Star-Wood Thrush Connector

The Star-Wood Thrush Connector was built to provide an off-the-gravel-road connection from Star and Wood Thrush trails to the trailhead on Riverland Road.  This trail runs through a closed landfill, and shares the landscape with pioneer invasive species such as privet and kudzu. 

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.24 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Understory Trail

Understory Trail was built as a connector from Mill Mountain Greenway to Ridgeline Trail. It helps to create a top of the mountain loop for hikers and a more advanced trail for mountain bikers.

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.38 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
hard
Surface Type:
Natural

Virginia Pine Trail

Virginia Pine Trail starts at Hartsook Boulevard in the Garden City area and connects to Wood Thrush Trail, following a finger ridge and old road bed. The trail provides a lollipop loop option.  

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.75 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Watchtower Trail

Watchtower Trail provides Mill Mountain visitors a short hike from the Star overlook and a loop option when combined with Mill Mountain Greenway. There are steps at the lower end of the trail, crossing the Prospect Road wall, thus necessitating the hiker only classification.

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
0.22 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
easy
Surface Type:
Natural

Wood Thrush Trail

Wood Thrush Trail links multiple old road beds and provides a continuous trail on the Garden City side of the mountain. It runs from the water tower near Riverland Road to Mill Mountain Parkway, connecting to Sidewinder and Virginia Pine trails. As the longest individual trail on the mountain, it provides opportunities for wildlife sightings […]

Trail Details

Trail Distance:
1.9 mile
Amount of Use:
medium
Trail Difficulty:
medium
Surface Type:
Natural

Rules, Regulations
& Etiquette

Trail Rules

Some trails cross jurisdictions along route. Rules vary by jurisdiction.

System-Wide Rules:

  1. Yield to pedestrians.
  2. Keep to the right, pass on the left.
  3. Give an audible warning when passing.
  4. Maintain safe, courteous speeds.
  5. Keep pets on a leash.
  6. Clean up after pets.
  7. Keep the greenway trash free.
  8. No trespassing after hours.
  9. No motor vehicles.
  10. No alcohol, camping, hunting, or fires.

City of Roanoke Hours:

  • Hours: 6 am – 11 pm.

Trail jurisdiction

This trail crosses the following jurisdictions:

City of Roanoke

General Trail Etiquette

  1. Share the trail.
  2. Slow down when congested.
  3. Do not take up more than half the trail.
  4. Keep leashes short.
  5. Wear appropriate safety equipment.
  6. Step off the trail when stopping.
  7. Scoop the poop immediately.
  8. Carry trash to waste receptacles.
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Report Trail Maintenance Issue

Please report any trail maintenance issues using this form.